Saturday, Jul 02, 2022

Punjab Election 2022: For All Parties, It’s A Harvest Of Farm Suicides

The once economically prosperous state is now in the grip of unending farm distress. What ails the state and why has no government been able to do anything?

Harvest Of Farm Suicides
Harvest Of Farm Suicides Untitled artwork by Riyas Komu

Many representatives from almost all political parties—national as well as regional—have, of late, been vis­iting Veerpal Kaur’s humble home in Pun­jab’s Ralla village in Mansa district, req­uesting support in the assembly elections. A farm suicide widow, Veerpal, 43, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from Bathinda, which was retained by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

This election season, she decided to stay away owing to some serious health issues, and, as usual, financial problems—something that first drove her father, and after marriage, her husb­and and even her father-in-law to suicide. All these deaths happened within a span of 10 yea­rs due to Punjab’s biggest burning problem—agrarian distress.